Kentucky Wildcats vs. Mississippi Bulldogs
Two SEC teams looking to battle their way back to .500 on the season meet in Lexington as the Kentucky Wildcats host the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are -10 point favorites over the Wildcats with an over/under point total set at 56.
It’s been a tough season for Joker Phillips and the Kentucky Wildcats as they ended a four game losing streak last week beating FCS Jacksonville State. Much of UK’s problems have come on offense where QB Moran Newton has struggled completing 47.3 percent of his passes for just 769 yards with eight touchdowns while rushing for 262 yards and two scores. Josh Clemons leads the Kentucky ground attack with a 4.3 yard per carry average and two touchdowns and La’Rod King leads in receptions with 27 and six touchdowns. The Kentucky defense has nine interceptions, four fumble recoveries and have sacked opposing QB’s 11 times, about half the amount their own QB has been sacked. Winston Guy has 79 tackles, Danny Travathan has 77, and Martaveous Neloms has 49. Kentucky has played well against lesser competition but when they have been called upon to step it up they have been stepped on.
The expectations were sky high for Dan Mullen and the Mississippi State Bulldogs this year following last season’s New Year’s Day blowout bowl win but it’s been a rocky road a lot of disappointment thus far and if they are going to turn it around it needs to start right here. Tyler Russell has taken over at QB for Chris Relf but the results statistically are similar as he has completed 52.5 percent of his passes with five touchdowns. Vick Ballard is one of the better running backs in the nation but his numbers are down this season as well as he has rushed for 598 yards and five touchdowns. Arceto Clark and Chris Smith have 18 catches each and Chad Bumphis has just 15 in what has been a disappointing year thus far. The Bulldog defense has 11 interceptions, 14 sacks, and four fumble recoveries. Cameron Lawrence has 61 tackles, Brandon Wilson has 58, and Charles Mitchell has 50 to lead MSU. While it’s two-thirds of the way into the season, it is must win time for Mississippi State.
Kentucky is 2-5 against the spread in their last seven SEC games, 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games as an underdog, and 4-9 against the spread in their last 13 games overall. Mississippi State is 2-5 against the spread in their last seven SEC games, 1-5 against the spread in their last six games overall, and 0-7 against the spread in their last seven road games against a tea with a losing home record. The road team has covered four of the last five in this series.
Kentucky has been terrible for the most part this year and while Mississippi State hasn’t been very good, most of it has been against far better competition than what they face here. This is a big number but I don’t see Kentucky being able to score enough to keep it close enough for the points to matter.
Mississippi St. Bulldogs -10 Kentucky Wildcats